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Welsh wizards in Euro 2016 dreamland

Wales 3 - Belgium 1

By Mark Ogden

Published 02/07/2016

Welsh wonder: Sam Vokes of Wales beats Toby Alderweireld of Belgium to score their third goal and seal an historic victory against Belgium
Welsh wonder: Sam Vokes of Wales beats Toby Alderweireld of Belgium to score their third goal and seal an historic victory against Belgium

When the heroes of the 1958 World Cup returned to Wales after reaching the quarter-finals, the players disembarked at Swansea rail station without so much of a sideways glance, but the boys of 2016 will be given the freedom of Cardiff, Newport and Wrexham after stunning Belgium to reach the semi-finals of the European Championships.

Passion, commitment and togetherness, combined with breathtaking goals from Hal Robson-Kanu and Sam Vokes, following a captain's equaliser from Ashley Williams, sent Belgium crashing out of the tournament to set up a semi-final against Portugal in Lyon next Wednesday.

It will be Cristiano Ronaldo versus Gareth Bale, a clash of two football titans, but Portugal will be wise not to under-estimate the rest of Coleman's squad. 'Are you watching England?' chanted the Wales fans during this destruction of one of the pre-tournament favourites.

England, with all of their Champions League-playing superstars, could not even beat the minnows of Iceland, yet Wales claimed the scalp of Belgium with the goal of the game scored by Robson-Kanu, a player whose Reading contract expired 24 hours earlier. A day after becoming a free agent, he scored the goal of his life.

Despite claiming a victory in Cardiff and draw in Brussels against Belgium during the qualification campaign for this tournament, Wales manager Chris Coleman acknowledged prior to this game that his team would face a different proposition in Lille, and not just on the recently-relaid pitch at the Stade Pierre Mauroy.

The opening ten minutes were a blur for Wales, with Belgium hitting Coleman's team with wave after wave of slick and quick attacks.

The Belgians opened the scoring in spectacular fashion on 13 minutes when Nainggolan struck one of the goals of the tournament.

The AS Roma midfielder beat keeper Wayne Hennessey with a rocket of a shot from 30 yards after being teed up by Hazard.

But Wales steadied themselves and stemmed the Belgian tide. The equaliser came from a set-piece on 31 minutes when Williams escaped his marker to direct a header into the net from Ramsey's corner.

It was a reward for Wales' persistence and Bale, clearly determined to seize the moment, forced another fine save from Courtois when the Chelsea keeper dived full-stretch to keep out the Real Madrid winger's right-foot strike.

Wales' forward Hal Robson-Kanu (L) celebrates after scoring a goal with Wales' forward Gareth Bale (R) during the Euro 2016 quarter-final football match between Wales and Belgium at the Pierre-Mauroy stadium in Villeneuve-d'Ascq near Lille, on July 1, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / PAUL ELLISPAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images
Wales' forward Hal Robson-Kanu (L) celebrates after scoring a goal with Wales' forward Gareth Bale (R) during the Euro 2016 quarter-final football match between Wales and Belgium at the Pierre-Mauroy stadium in Villeneuve-d'Ascq near Lille, on July 1, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / PAUL ELLISPAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images
Supporters react at the fan zone of the General De Gaulle square in Lille, northern France, on July 1, 2016 as they watch the Euro 2016 football match between Belgium and Wales. / AFP PHOTO / FRANCOIS LO PRESTIFRANCOIS LO PRESTI/AFP/Getty Images
LILLE, FRANCE - JULY 01: Wales player Gareth Bale celebrates after the UEFA Euro 2016 Quarter Final match between Wales and Belguim at Stade Pierre-Mauroy on July 1, 2016 in Lille, France. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
LILLE, FRANCE - JULY 01: Wales player Gareth Bale celebrates after the UEFA Euro 2016 Quarter Final match between Wales and Belguim at Stade Pierre-Mauroy on July 1, 2016 in Lille, France. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
LILLE, FRANCE - JULY 01: Wales supporters celebrate their team's 3-1 win in the UEFA EURO 2016 quarter final match between Wales and Belgium at Stade Pierre-Mauroy on July 1, 2016 in Lille, France. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
A Belgium supporter reacts after the Euro 2016 quarter-final football match between Wales and Belgium at the Pierre-Mauroy stadium in Villeneuve-d'Ascq near Lille, on July 1, 2016. Wales won the match 3-1. / AFP PHOTO / EMMANUEL DUNANDEMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images
Wales fans celebrate after Wales score their third goal at a screening of the Euro 2016 quarter final match between Wales and Belgium at the fan zone in Cardiff, south Wales on July 1, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / Geoff CADDICKGEOFF CADDICK/AFP/Getty Images
LILLE, FRANCE - JULY 01: Wales players celebrate their 3-1 win after the UEFA EURO 2016 quarter final match between Wales and Belgium at Stade Pierre-Mauroy on July 1, 2016 in Lille, France. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - Wales' forward Hal Robson-Kanu (R) scores a goal during the Euro 2016 quarter-final football match between Wales and Belgium at the Pierre-Mauroy stadium in Villeneuve-d'Ascq near Lille, on July 1, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE HUGUENPHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images
Wales' Gareth Bale (right) and teammates celebrate after the UEFA Euro 2016, quarter final match at the Stade Pierre Mauroy, Lille. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday July 1 2016. See PA story SOCCER Wales. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Use subject to restrictions. Editorial use only. Book and magazine sales permitted providing not solely devoted to any one team/player/match. No commercial use. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
Wales' Hal Robson Kanu celebrates scoring his team's second goal during the Euro 2016 quarterfinal soccer match between Wales and Belgium, at the Pierre Mauroy stadium in Villeneuve dAscq, near Lille, France, Friday, July 1, 2016. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)
Wales' Hal Robson-Kanu celebrates scoring his side's second goal of the game during the UEFA Euro 2016, quarter final match at the Stade Pierre Mauroy, Lille. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday July 1 2016. See PA story SOCCER Wales. Photo credit should read: Mike Egerton/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Use subject to restrictions. Editorial use only. Book and magazine sales permitted providing not solely devoted to any one team/player/match. No commercial use. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
Wales fans celebrate their teams second goal during the Wales v Belgium game at Coopers Field fanzone, Cardiff. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday July 1 2016. See PA story SOCCER Wales. Photo credit should read: Simon Galloway/PA Wire.
Wales fans celebrate their teams second goal during the Wales v Belgium game at Coopers Field fanzone, Cardiff. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday July 1 2016. See PA story SOCCER Wales. Photo credit should read: Simon Galloway/PA Wire.
Wales' Joe Allen (right) and Belgium's Dries Mertens battle for the ball during the UEFA Euro 2016, quarter final match at the Stade Pierre Mauroy, Lille. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday July 1 2016. See PA story SOCCER Wales. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Use subject to restrictions. Editorial use only. Book and magazine sales permitted providing not solely devoted to any one team/player/match. No commercial use. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
Wales' Hal Robson Kanu, center, controls the ball between Belgium's Thomas Meunier, left, and Marouane Fellaini before scoring his team's second goal during the Euro 2016 quarterfinal soccer match between Wales and Belgium, at the Pierre Mauroy stadium in Villeneuve dAscq, near Lille, France, Friday, July 1, 2016. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)
Wales' Hal Robson Kanu, right, shoots to score next to Belgium's Thomas Meunier during the Euro 2016 quarterfinal soccer match between Wales and Belgium, at the Pierre Mauroy stadium in Villeneuve dAscq, near Lille, France, Friday, July 1, 2016. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)
Wales' Gareth Bale (left) and Belgium's Marouane Fellaini battle for the ball during the UEFA Euro 2016, quarter final match at the Stade Pierre Mauroy, Lille. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday July 1 2016. See PA story SOCCER Wales. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Use subject to restrictions. Editorial use only. Book and magazine sales permitted providing not solely devoted to any one team/player/match. No commercial use. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
Wales' players and Belgium players tussle for position during a free kick during the UEFA Euro 2016, quarter final match at the Stade Pierre Mauroy, Lille. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday July 1 2016. See PA story SOCCER Wales. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Use subject to restrictions. Editorial use only. Book and magazine sales permitted providing not solely devoted to any one team/player/match. No commercial use. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
Wales manager Chris Coleman (left) and fitness coach Ryland Morgans (right) celebrate after Hal Robson-Kanu (not in picture) scores his side's second goal of the game during the UEFA Euro 2016, quarter final match at the Stade Pierre Mauroy, Lille. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday July 1 2016. See PA story SOCCER Wales. Photo credit should read: Mike Egerton/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Use subject to restrictions. Editorial use only. Book and magazine sales permitted providing not solely devoted to any one team/player/match. No commercial use. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
Wales' Hal Robson-Kanu celebrates scoring his side's second goal of the game during the UEFA Euro 2016, quarter final match at the Stade Pierre Mauroy, Lille. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday July 1 2016. See PA story SOCCER Wales. Photo credit should read: Mike Egerton/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Use subject to restrictions. Editorial use only. Book and magazine sales permitted providing not solely devoted to any one team/player/match. No commercial use. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
Wales' Hal Robson-Kanu (hidden) celebrates scoring his side's second goal of the game with coaching staff and players during the UEFA Euro 2016, quarter final match at the Stade Pierre Mauroy, Lille. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday July 1 2016. See PA story SOCCER Wales. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Use subject to restrictions. Editorial use only. Book and magazine sales permitted providing not solely devoted to any one team/player/match. No commercial use. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
Wales' Hal Robson-Kanu (left) scores his side's second goal of the game during the UEFA Euro 2016, quarter final match at the Stade Pierre Mauroy, Lille. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday July 1 2016. See PA story SOCCER Wales. Photo credit should read: Mike Egerton/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Use subject to restrictions. Editorial use only. Book and magazine sales permitted providing not solely devoted to any one team/player/match. No commercial use. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
Wales' Chris Gunter celebrates his side's second goal of the game scored by Wales' Hal Robson-Kanu (not in picture) during the UEFA Euro 2016, quarter final match at the Stade Pierre Mauroy, Lille. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday July 1 2016. See PA story SOCCER Wales. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Use subject to restrictions. Editorial use only. Book and magazine sales permitted providing not solely devoted to any one team/player/match. No commercial use. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
Wales' Hal Robson-Kanu (left) scores his side's second goal of the game during the UEFA Euro 2016, quarter final match at the Stade Pierre Mauroy, Lille. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday July 1 2016. See PA story SOCCER Wales. Photo credit should read: Mike Egerton/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Use subject to restrictions. Editorial use only. Book and magazine sales permitted providing not solely devoted to any one team/player/match. No commercial use. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
Wales' Hal Robson-Kanu (centre) scores his sides second goal of the game during the UEFA Euro 2016, quarter final match at the Stade Pierre Mauroy, Lille. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday July 1 2016. See PA story SOCCER Wales. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Use subject to restrictions. Editorial use only. Book and magazine sales permitted providing not solely devoted to any one team/player/match. No commercial use. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
Wales' Chris Gunter (right) is booked by match referee Damir Skomina (left) during the UEFA Euro 2016, quarter final match at the Stade Pierre Mauroy, Lille. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday July 1 2016. See PA story SOCCER Wales. Photo credit should read: Mike Egerton/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Use subject to restrictions. Editorial use only. Book and magazine sales permitted providing not solely devoted to any one team/player/match. No commercial use. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
Wales' Ashley Williams, foreground, celebrates scoring an equalizer during the Euro 2016 quarterfinal soccer match between Wales and Belgium, at the Pierre Mauroy stadium in Villeneuve dAscq, near Lille, France, Friday, July 1, 2016. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)
Wales and Belgium supporters cheer in a street of Lille on July 1, 2016 before the Euro 2016 quarter-final football match between Wales and Belgium. AFP/Getty Images
Wales team group (L - R Top) Wales' Hal Robson-Kanu, Ashley Williams, Wane Hennessey, james Chester, Joe Ledley Aaron Ramsey (L - R Bottom) Wales' Gareth Bale, Joe Allen, Neil Taylor, Chris Gunter, Ben Davies during the UEFA Euro 2016, quarter final match at the Stade Pierre Mauroy, Lille. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday July 1 2016. See PA story SOCCER Wales. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Use subject to restrictions. Editorial use only. Book and magazine sales permitted providing not solely devoted to any one team/player/match. No commercial use. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
LILLE, FRANCE - JULY 01: A young Wales supporter is seen prior to the UEFA EURO 2016 quarter final match between Wales and Belgium at Stade Pierre-Mauroy on July 1, 2016 in Lille, France. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Belgium supporters wait for the start of the Euro 2016 quarter-final football match between Wales and Belgium at the Pierre-Mauroy stadium in Villeneuve-d'Ascq near Lille, on July 1, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / MIGUEL MEDINAMIGUEL MEDINA/AFP/Getty Images
LILLE, FRANCE - JULY 01: A Wales fan shows the support prior to the UEFA EURO 2016 quarter final match between Wales and Belgium at Stade Pierre-Mauroy on July 1, 2016 in Lille, France. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
Belgium supporters wait for the start of the Euro 2016 quarter-final football match between Wales and Belgium at the Pierre-Mauroy stadium in Villeneuve-d'Ascq near Lille, on July 1, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / MIGUEL MEDINAMIGUEL MEDINA/AFP/Getty Images
A Belgium supporter waits for the start of the Euro 2016 quarter-final football match between Wales and Belgium at the Pierre-Mauroy stadium in Villeneuve-d'Ascq near Lille, on July 1, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / MIGUEL MEDINAMIGUEL MEDINA/AFP/Getty Images
LILLE, FRANCE - JULY 01: A Belgium supporter enjoys the atmosphere prior to the UEFA EURO 2016 quarter final match between Wales and Belgium at Stade Pierre-Mauroy on July 1, 2016 in Lille, France. (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)
LILLE, FRANCE - JULY 01: A Belgium supporter enjoys the atmosphere prior to the UEFA EURO 2016 quarter final match between Wales and Belgium at Stade Pierre-Mauroy on July 1, 2016 in Lille, France. (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)
LILLE, FRANCE - JULY 01: A Belgium supporter enjoys the atmosphere prior to the UEFA EURO 2016 quarter final match between Wales and Belgium at Stade Pierre-Mauroy on July 1, 2016 in Lille, France. (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)
Belgium supporters cheer for their team before the Euro 2016 quarter-final football match between Wales and Belgium at the Pierre-Mauroy stadium in Villeneuve-d'Ascq near Lille, on July 1, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / MIGUEL MEDINAMIGUEL MEDINA/AFP/Getty Images
LILLE, FRANCE - JULY 01: A Belgium supporter enjoys the atmosphere prior to the UEFA EURO 2016 quarter final match between Wales and Belgium at Stade Pierre-Mauroy on July 1, 2016 in Lille, France. (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)
A Belgium supporter smiles before the Euro 2016 quarter-final football match between Wales and Belgium at the Pierre-Mauroy stadium in Villeneuve-d'Ascq near Lille, on July 1, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / MIGUEL MEDINAMIGUEL MEDINA/AFP/Getty Images
A Belgium supporter gestures before the Euro 2016 quarter-final football match between Wales and Belgium at the Pierre-Mauroy stadium in Villeneuve-d'Ascq near Lille, on July 1, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / MIGUEL MEDINAMIGUEL MEDINA/AFP/Getty Images
LILLE, FRANCE - JULY 01: Wales fans show their support prior to the UEFA EURO 2016 quarter final match between Wales and Belgium at Stade Pierre-Mauroy on July 1, 2016 in Lille, France. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
LILLE, FRANCE - JULY 01: A Belgium supporter enjoys the atmosphere prior to the UEFA EURO 2016 quarter final match between Wales and Belgium at Stade Pierre-Mauroy on July 1, 2016 in Lille, France. (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)
A Belgium supporter gestures before the Euro 2016 quarter-final football match between Wales and Belgium at the Pierre-Mauroy stadium in Villeneuve-d'Ascq near Lille, on July 1, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / MIGUEL MEDINAMIGUEL MEDINA/AFP/Getty Images
LILLE, FRANCE - JULY 01: Wales fans show their support prior to the UEFA EURO 2016 quarter final match between Wales and Belgium at Stade Pierre-Mauroy on July 1, 2016 in Lille, France. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Wales' Gareth Bale (centre, right) with Wales' Joe Ledley (centre, left) during warm-up before the UEFA Euro 2016, quarter final match at the Stade Pierre Mauroy, Lille. PA
Wales fans ahead of watching the Wales v Belgium game at Coopers Field fanzone, Cardiff. PA
Gareth Bale (4th L) and Wales players inspect the pitch prior to the UEFA EURO 2016 quarter final match between Wales and Belgium at Stade Pierre-Mauroy on July 1, 2016 in Lille, France. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
Wales fans in the centre of Lille before the UEFA Euro 2016, quarter final match at the Stade Pierre Mauroy, Lille. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday July 1 2016. See PA story SOCCER Wales. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Use subject to restrictions. Editorial use only. Book and magazine sales permitted providing not solely devoted to any one team/player/match. No commercial use. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
Wales and Belgium fans mingle in the centre of Lille before the UEFA Euro 2016, quarter final match at the Stade Pierre Mauroy, Lille. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday July 1 2016. See PA story SOCCER Wales. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Use subject to restrictions. Editorial use only. Book and magazine sales permitted providing not solely devoted to any one team/player/match. No commercial use. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
Wales supporters cheer in a street of Lille on July 1, 2016 before the Euro 2016 quarter-final football match between Wales and Belgium. / AFP PHOTO / EMMANUEL DUNANDEMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images
Wales fans in the centre of Lille before the UEFA Euro 2016, quarter final match at the Stade Pierre Mauroy, Lille. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday July 1 2016. See PA story SOCCER Wales. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Use subject to restrictions. Editorial use only. Book and magazine sales permitted providing not solely devoted to any one team/player/match. No commercial use. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
Wales supporters cheer in a street of Lille on July 1, 2016 before the Euro 2016 quarter-final football match between Wales and Belgium. / AFP PHOTO / EMMANUEL DUNANDEMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images
Belgium's supporters cheer their team at the main square, La Grand Place, in Lille on July 1, 2016 ahead of the Euro 2016 football tournament quarter final match between Belgium and Wales. / AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE HUGUENPHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images
Belgium's supporters cheer their team at the main square, La Grand Place, in Lille on July 1, 2016 ahead of the Euro 2016 football tournament quarter final match between Belgium and Wales. / AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE HUGUENPHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images
Wales fans in the centre of Lille before the UEFA Euro 2016, quarter final match at the Stade Pierre Mauroy, Lille. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday July 1 2016. See PA story SOCCER Wales. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Use subject to restrictions. Editorial use only. Book and magazine sales permitted providing not solely devoted to any one team/player/match. No commercial use. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
A Belgium's supporters waves a torch next to other supporters at the main square, La Grand Place, in Lille on July 1, 2016 ahead of the Euro 2016 football tournament quarter final match between Belgium and Wales. / AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE HUGUENPHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images
Belgium supporters hold a smoke bomb in a street of Lille on July 1, 2016 before the Euro 2016 quarter-final football match between Wales and Belgium. / AFP PHOTO / EMMANUEL DUNANDEMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images
Belgium's supporters carry another one in a inflatable boat next to a Belgium's flag at the main square, La Grand Place, in Lille on July 1, 2016 ahead of the Euro 2016 football tournament quarter final match between Belgium and Wales. / AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE HUGUENPHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images
A photo taken on July 1, 2016 shows a doll head painted with Belgium's colors as Belgium's supporters wcheer their team at the main square, La Grand Place, in Lille ahead of the Euro 2016 football tournament quarter final match between Belgium and Wales. / AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE HUGUENPHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images
A Belgium supporter is pictured in a street of Lille on July 1, 2016 before the Euro 2016 quarter-final football match between Wales and Belgium. / AFP PHOTO / EMMANUEL DUNANDEMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images
A Belgium supporter cheers in the streets of Lille on July 1, 2016 before the Euro 2016 quarter-final football match between Wales and Belgium. / AFP PHOTO / EMMANUEL DUNANDEMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images
Belgium supporters cheer in the streets of Lille on July 1, 2016 before the Euro 2016 quarter-final football match between Wales and Belgium. / AFP PHOTO / EMMANUEL DUNANDEMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images
Belgium's supporters wave Belgium's flags as they cheer their team at the main square, La Grand Place, in Lille on July 1, 2016 ahead of the Euro 2016 football tournament quarter final match between Belgium and Wales. / AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE HUGUENPHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images
Belgium's supporters wave Belgium's cheer their team at the main square, La Grand Place, in Lille on July 1, 2016 ahead of the Euro 2016 football tournament quarter final match between Belgium and Wales. / AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE HUGUENPHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images
Belgium's supporters wave Belgium's cheer their team at the main square, La Grand Place, in Lille on July 1, 2016 ahead of the Euro 2016 football tournament quarter final match between Belgium and Wales. / AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE HUGUENPHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images
A Belgium's supporter wearing devil's horns celebrates as she gathers with other supporters in the main square, La Grand Place, in Lille on July 1, 2016 ahead of the Euro 2016 football tournament quarter final match between Belgium and Wales. / AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE HUGUENPHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images
Belgium's supporters pose in the main square, La Grand Place, in Lille on July 1, 2016 ahead of the Euro 2016 football tournament quarter final match between Belgium and Wales. / AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE HUGUENPHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images
Belgium fans soak up the atmosphere in Lille prior to the UEFA Euro 2016, quarter final match at the Stade Pierre Mauroy, Lille. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday July 1 2016. See PA story SOCCER Wales. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Use subject to restrictions. Editorial use only. Book and magazine sales permitted providing not solely devoted to any one team/player/match. No commercial use. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
Wales fans soak up the atmosphere in Lille prior to the UEFA Euro 2016, quarter final match at the Stade Pierre Mauroy, Lille. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday July 1 2016. See PA story SOCCER Wales. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Use subject to restrictions. Editorial use only. Book and magazine sales permitted providing not solely devoted to any one team/player/match. No commercial use. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
Belgium fans wearing Wales scarves soak up the atmosphere in Lille prior to the UEFA Euro 2016, quarter final match at the Stade Pierre Mauroy, Lille. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday July 1 2016. See PA story SOCCER Wales. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Use subject to restrictions. Editorial use only. Book and magazine sales permitted providing not solely devoted to any one team/player/match. No commercial use. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
Belgium fans soak up the atmosphere prior to the UEFA Euro 2016, quarter final match at the Stade Pierre Mauroy, Lille. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday July 1 2016. See PA story SOCCER Wales. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Use subject to restrictions. Editorial use only. Book and magazine sales permitted providing not solely devoted to any one team/player/match. No commercial use. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
Fans soak up the atmosphere in Lille prior to the UEFA Euro 2016, quarter final match at the Stade Pierre Mauroy, Lille. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday July 1 2016. See PA story SOCCER Wales. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Use subject to restrictions. Editorial use only. Book and magazine sales permitted providing not solely devoted to any one team/player/match. No commercial use. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.

Having been outplayed and outrun for 20 minutes, Wales ended the half in the ascendancy. There is an unbreakable spirit in this Wales team and a refusal to cave in, and they once again rolled off the ropes after sustained pressure to hit Belgium hard on the counter.

It was a spectacular response too. Robson-Kanu, having received the ball with his back to goal from Ramsey, sent three Belgian defenders the wrong way which left one-on-one with Courtois.

Without a hint of tension, the former England U-19 forward coolly guided a left-foot shot beyond Courtois to put Wales 2-1 ahead and 35 minutes away from the semi-final.

The Belgium fightback would surely come, a team of such talented players in front of their vast army of fans?

They tried, somewhat half-heartedly, but the defending of Williams, Davies and the hugely impressive James Chester became more resolute with every passing minute.

But Wales were the team with energy, desire and belief and their incredible performance was crowned when Burnley forward Vokes headed Gunter's cross beyond Courtois on 86 minutes.

An unforgettable moment in a summer to remember for Wales. They are now just ninety minutes away from the Euro 2016 final.

Wales: Hennessey, Chester, Ashley Williams, Davies, Taylor, Allen, Ledley (King 77), Ramsey (Collins 90), Gunter, Robson-Kanu (Vokes 80), Bale.

Subs Not Used: Fon Williams, George Williams, Edwards, Richards, Cotterill, Jonathan Williams, Vaughan, Church, Ward.

Booked: Davies, Chester, Gunter, Ramsey.

Goals: Ashley Williams 30, Robson-Kanu 55, Vokes 85.

Belgium: Courtois, Meunier, Alderweireld, Denayer, Jordan Lukaku (Mertens 75), Nainggolan, Witsel, Carrasco (Fellaini 46), De Bruyne, Hazard, Romelu Lukaku (Batshuayi 83).

Subs Not Used: Mignolet, Origi, Kabasele, Dembele, Benteke, Ciman, Gillet.

Booked: Fellaini,Alderweireld.

Goals: Nainggolan 13.

Referee: Damir Skomina (Slovenia).

Match rating: 8/10

Man of the match: Aaron Ramsey

Bookings: Wales 4 Belgium 2

Possession: Wales 46% Belgium 54%

Shots on target: Wales 7 Belgium 5

Fouls committed: Wales 12 Belgium 8

Belfast Telegraph

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